Several studies suggest that the lethality of coronavirus could be much lower than that estimated by WHO

One recent research estimates that the covid-19 mortality rate would range from 0.02% to 0.4%, well below the 3.4% announced by WHO in March.

One of the great unknowns of the coronavirus pandemic is how deadly the disease is. A series of research based on antibody studies and published over the past month suggests that the death rate per covid-19 could be well below WHO’s estimated 3.4% in March.

Thus, one of the most recent research is that of Professor John Ioannidisof Stanford University,  who,  when reviewing global cases, calculated the lethality of the virus in 12 different locations, concluding that it would range from 0.02% to 0.4%. The lowest estimates come from Kobe (Japan) and Oise (France), while the highest estimates are geneva (Switzerland),  Gangelt  (Germany) and Wuhan (China).

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In the same vein, on 4 May, a group of German researchers published a study conducted in that European country that estimated an infection lethality rate (IFR) at 0.36%.

Research conducted in the Iranian province of Guilán  and published on May 1, puts covid-19 lethality at 0.12%, while another analysis from Stanford University, published on April 30 and centered in Santa Clara County, California, puts this indicator at 0.17%.

On April 21, the University of Southern California published a study based on the population of Los Angeles County, which holds that the fatality rate of coronavirus would be 0.2%.

Although the figures vary from place to place, depending on a number of factors (demographic changes, health care, methodology, sampling, population density, etc.), none is close to 3.4% calculated by WHO.

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On the other hand, Ioannidis itself recognizes that an important limitation of its analysis is that the calculations are largely based on impressions that have not yet been peer-reviewed. In addition, some critics of his analysis also question the selection of research on which he relied, which does not include, for example, the largest antibody study to date, which involves a random sample of 70,000 Spanish residents.

This research suggested that 5% of the Spanish population had been infected with the virus, which would put IFR between 1% and 1.3%, three times the highest estimate in Ioannidisanalysis.

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